In his latest mock draft, CBSSports.com's Will Brinson believes the Redskins will select Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst with the No. 13 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
As the Washington Redskins head into this week’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the team will evaluate the best talent available in the 2018 draft.
Among the possible areas of need for their first round selection is along the defensive line. Two of the most common names links to the Redskins to date with the No. 13-overall pick have been Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne and Washington’s Vita Vea.
CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson believes the Redskins will, in fact, select a defensive lineman in his latest mock draft but not in the form of either Payne or Vea.
He sees the Redskins selecting Michigan’s Maurice Hurst.
“The Redskins can add another big man on the inside of that defense to pair with Jonathan Allen and really be able to get a push on opposing offensive lines, a critical component in a division with lines like Dallas and Philly,” Brinson writes.
In four active seasons with the Wolverines, Hurst appeared in 41 games, recording 130 tackles (32.5 for loss) along with three passes defensed, two fumbles forced and one fumble recovered. Additionally, he recorded 12.5 sacks.
During his fifth-year senior season in 2017, the 6-foot-2, 282 pounder played in 13 games and set career highs in total tackles (61), solo tackles (25), tackles for loss (14.5), sacks (five) and passes defensed (two). Hurst was a consensus All-Big Ten first-team selection and was the recipient of both the Bo Schembechler Team MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year award.
In 2016, Hurst appeared in 12 games and tallied 34 tackles (11.5 for loss) along with 4.5 sacks.
As a junior in 2015, the Westwood, Mass., native appeared in 13 games with four starts. He made his collegiate debut in 2014 with seven appearances.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Hurst “has disruptive initial quickness when ball is snapped.”
“Comes off the ball low and looking to eat in the backfield. Once he gets into the gap, can get skinny and slither through. Too quick for blockers to reach or trap. Motor and movement get him access to the pocket as a rusher. Flurries with his hands like a lightweight boxer. Bats away early punch attempts creating balance advantages. Light feet help him bounce from gap to gap challenging slow-footed linemen. Makes plays well beyond his gap thanks to quickness and plus motor. Quick to punch and disengage against move blocks on outside zone. Effective in twist game,” his profile states.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein believes Hurst could produce similar numbers to Maliek Collins, who has collected 45 tackles with 7.5 sacks in two seasons to date with the Dallas Cowboys.
“Hurst is an upfield three-technique who gets out of the blocks ahead of his competition as soon as the starter's pistol goes off,” Zierlein writes. “His ability to come out fast and low should create opportunities to become a disruptive penetrator, but he has to prove that he has the strength to play through redirect blocks and hold up against NFL interior linemen.”